We have a table of data that is not interactive but is too wide and growing so we need to consolidate the columns. Currently the headings are taking up the most space so I am trying to provide a highly useable representation of the data.
The target user is a competent computer user who has reasonable experience working with applications, not just a web user.
This is the original table. The headings are what is important and their representation is lost as the page is scrolled. Where there is a check then that column is a property of the item.
Note most rows will only have 2-3 properties showing per item.
My first thought was to show coloured blocks with a legend, along with tool tips:
But are legends more a thing of the real world rather than online?
Next is abbreviated text with tool tip, from a usability perspective this gives inline understanding without referring to the legend.
Or a combination of text and coloured blocks.
I am not sure which approach would be the most usable/easily understood?